PRODUCTS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT #5

Reading the responses to the recent post on beaut.ie about what perfume people were wearing floored me.

“People change their perfume?” I wondered aloud. “People change their perfume regularly?!”

I really found this the most baffling notion. Sure, my mother does it, but I assumed this was a combination of being bought a lot of presents and just being the type of person who likes to change everything regularly (cost permitting). Me? I’ve been wearing the same perfume for fourteen years.

chanel5By this point, my perfume is as much a part of me as my eye colour or my face shape– I can’t imagine picking out a new perfume and wearing it any more than I can walking up with brown eyes or a square jaw. I use No.5 shower gel, body lotion, velvet body creme, and body mist. While it was available, I used Chanel No.5 talcum powder. I got so much No.5 deodorant as part of sets that I now use it to mist my bed and my pot pourri (it’s not an anti-perspirant, which I can’t live without; that one will be featured in a future PICLO). My entire home smells faintly of it, and when I loan clothes to anyone, they always comment that they can still smell the No.5 on them even after they’ve worn it.

The notion of changing my perfume daily (or using more than one a day!) is just inconceivable to me. Occasionally if I want something different, I’ll wear Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere, which is lighter. Lately, I’ve been using Chanel no.22– the first light version of No.5, which was created the year after the original (in 1922, hence the same), and is part of the Les Exclusifs range only available in Chanel boutiques. Although painfully expensive, the bottle is massive and lasts forever.

chanel22

Originally, as a silly seventeen year old, I started wearing this because I thought it was more “grown-up” than previous things I’d worn, like Exclamation Noir (anyone remember that?), or my beloved-but-discontinued Fendi Theorema. Now, it’s a signature part of my sense of style that has remained through countless hair, clothes, and make-up experiments, and I feel like I’ve grown into it at last. More than that, it seems like I was always drawn to this scent.

When browsing the boutique in Paris back in 2008, I tried all the Les Exclusifs, and No.22 was the only one I liked– I was quite amused when the salesgirl told me it was in fact a No.5 derivative; I hadn’t known before then. I recently complimented my aunt on her perfume, which made her laugh because apparently I used to try to swipe it from her as a child. It was L’Aimant, then and now, and she had started wearing it in her teens because it was considered “the poor man’s No.5”. In those days, she couldn’t afford the real thing. She fell so in love with that one that she still wears it decades later.

Mum aside, maybe it runs in the family.

Do you change your perfume regularly? Do you cycle through the same three or four, or are you always looking for something new? Or, like me, are you a long-term devotee of a single scent and its offspring? Maybe you’re even more militant than me and can’t even imagine using the derivatives of your favourite brand?

I’m really curious to see where people stand on this issue. Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

7 Comments

  1. Posted March 20, 2014 at 02:35 | Permalink | Reply

    I really love the idea of having a perfume you come back to for all time. I have only ever purchased one perfume in my life, but I think I’m going to start a search for a scent I love and can use everyday to have my own signature scent that makes me happy!

    • Posted March 20, 2014 at 20:24 | Permalink | Reply

      Not everybody’s big into perfume, but I love it because it’s an easy and lazy way to make me feel great when I can’t be bothered with makeup, haha.

      I would definitely advise looking for a signature scent, though. I think maybe the best way to do it (a more focused version of what I did) is to think of all the other people’s perfumes you’ve loved and list them, or go to the drugstore and sniff lots of things and take note of the ones you like, then go home and look up those perfumes on a site like Basenotes to see what the most common ingredients are. Then maybe you can find one which has all of them in it, and it will be the perfect thing for you!

      I definitely advise trying a perfume on at least once or twice and wearing it for a few hours before you commit to purchase though, especially in the case of more expensive ones. The smell can completely change over the course of a few hours to react negatively with your body chemistry, and then you’re stuck with something you love but which doesn’t love you back.

      Good luck with your hunt, I look forward to hearing about how it went on your blog! ❤

  2. Posted March 31, 2014 at 01:16 | Permalink | Reply

    Signature smell is not usually me although I love the idea of it.. I somehow want to alter my fragrances depending on weather, mood , occasion .. I currently own about 10-12 fragrances ranging from Bvlgari , Paco Robanne , Burberry, Dior, Ralph Lauren , Estée Lauder .. And my fav is Bvlgari Crystalline .. But I like to switch back and forth.

    • Posted March 31, 2014 at 13:22 | Permalink | Reply

      Nothing wrong with that! Some people are just into switching things up– bought Mummy another new perfume for Mother’s Day yesterday, lol. Some people just prefer the same choice in their scents as they do in their wardrobe, I’m learning.

      I don’t think I’ve tried the Bvlgari one you mentioned, but I think if I weren’t so much into the Chanel one, I would probably use something like Flowerbomb or the Cavalli Nero Assoluto which was what I just got for Mum. I guess I like the sweeter fragrances?

      • Posted March 31, 2014 at 13:54 | Permalink | Reply

        Hmm.. Never tried those , will give them a go next time I am in the mall.. But Bvlgari Is worth trying ..

        • Posted March 31, 2014 at 17:09 | Permalink | Reply

          Will keep my eyes open next time I’m in a perfume store!

          There are a few Cavalli ones, but I think the black is the nicest. Happy shopping! :3

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